?Believers in truth will finally prevail?

Updated on Nov 20, 2006 05:30 AM IST

In an interview to Shreevatsa Nevatia, ex-NY Mayor Giuliani speaks about Iraq, India and his ambitions.

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None | ByShreevatsa Nevatia, New Delhi

As mayor of New York in 2001, Rudy Giuliani did much to bring the Big Apple back to its feet following the catastrophic events of 9/11. In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Giuliani said that the one thing, which the iconic terrorist strike had taught him, was this — "People who believe in freedom will finally prevail."

If someone listening in was to say that the 62-year-old Republican hath spoken as a true American president, he or she can possibly be attributed with clairvoyant powers. Giuliani has very recently formed an exploratory committee to consider entering the 2008 Presidential race. He, however, remained non-committal about his ambitions. "At this point, we are trying to explore how feasible it is to run for American president but I haven't made a decision yet."

"President Bush and Prime Minister Singh did not invent the Indo-American alliance, they discovered it."

As a Republican, who is moderate enough to be pro-choice, Giuliani might just be the candidate ideal enough to garner support from both sides of the American political divide. Responding to this hypothesis, he said, “America surely needs more bi-partisan cooperation. We need to figure out what we can do to not get ourselves locked into divisions between Republicans and Democrats."  The said concern has been magnified by the Republican defeat in the mid-term elections. Many believe Bush’s handling of the Iraq war is to be blamed.

Arguing that the American people did not speak as one voice on the issue, Giuliani countered, "A group of people quite definitely voted for us to get out of Iraq but there was also another group who believed that we must try and make real an accountable Iraqi government, though not without re-examining our tactics."

And if Giuliani were President, what would his prescription be? “Training the Iraqi forces more and finding out how the present government in Iraq can be supported better.”

When asked if America's invasion of Iraq had created more terrorists and put the world at greater danger, he replied, "If your aim is to end world terrorism, at some point in time, you would have had to remove its formidable supporter, Saddam Hussein. One of the reasons why America has remained safe is because we have been on an offence against terrorism."

Repeating a point he had made earlier, he said the US and India were 'natural allies' and that their alliance would only grow — "President Bush and Prime Minister Singh did not invent the Indo-American alliance, they discovered it."

Email shreevatsa@hindustantimes.com

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